Sunday, 11 January 2009

Chill Factor!

I did think I could twist the title into something about being treated in a cold way or some other metaphor for having a bad time of things but frankly that would be totally pointless and a blatant lie as really there is nothing like that happening at the moment! So instead of the usual doom, gloom, and whinging from me, here is something that was just fun!

So, I didn't know what to do with my son this weekend, quite often we seem to just spend lots of time playing on the Wii and staying in (I could come up with pathetic excuses for this but ultimately I find it uncomfortable going out as the old me so I'm happier to stay in).

Anyway, I just thought it might be different and fun to go here: Chill Factor which is right next to the Trafford Centre (handy location from my point of view).

First two VERY important things that I learnt from our visit:
  1. Book in advance! We turned up at around 12 and the earliest we could get in was 4:30pm
  2. There are a few shops/restaurants there but really nothing much to do apart from the activities you pay for. So, if you didn't book in advance or just turn up really early you're likely to be bored pretty quickly!
Yes, I didn't really plan ahead so when we turned up we had a 4.5hr wait before we could get in to actually play in the snow and my son was absolutely distraught because we spent a good 10mins actually watching everyone have fun before we even went to get tickets! I'll definitely remember to book in advance for next time!

We spent, what must have seemed like an eternity at the time, wandering around trying to pass the time - really should have gone over to the Trafford Centre instead - until we eventually got our chance to go into the snowplay area! I had asked my son if he wanted to play on the tube slide but he said he didn't, just interested in mucking around in the snow!

The price of the ticket includes hire of snow boots (just lined wellies bascially). On such a busy day they were a bit limited when it came to my size so the pair I got were a bit old and battered (and too big). You don't have to use their boots for the SnowPlay area, I should have just worn the walking boots I'd brought along. No problem with kids boots but wellies would have been fine again.

The tickets let you through the barrier to get to the snow (bar-code scanner) and they seem to be used to let you up the ski-lift as well (saw people going through a barrier using theirs) which could be fun if you end up falling over lots and getting a soggy ticket.

The SnowPlay area is quite big with big plastic penguins and polar bears (no-one really seems to appreciate the geographical seperation of these two species) to slide around on, as well as some of the tubes which are fab! I spent quite alot of time dragging my son around behind me are great speed (tiring) and he thought it was fantastic!

The snow is very fine and powdery so no chance of making snowmen (maybe I should be saying "snowpeople" or "snowwomen"?) or snowballs but still good fun to run around in and it's VERY slippy and slidey. Not really that cold in there either, claims -1.46 on the display over the ski slope, but after running around a bit you do get quite warm.

It cost £11 for 1hr of playing in the snow - it's £1/30mins for adult and £4.90 for kids - so I guess you could save a little by having one adult mind a few kids. 30mins isn't really enough and my son would have carried on a little after 1hr but I think that is the right amount of time.

Anyway, it was a really fun day out and, yes, we did quickly pop into the Trafford Centre to have a look around and buy some socks for my son 'cos he got his feet soaked playing in the snow (yes, wellies would probably have been better).

No comments: